The Last Bandoleros talk touring with Sting, ringing in the new year at home

San Antonio band returns home for SA300 celebration

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio's own the Last Bandoleros are ringing in the New Year, celebrating San Antonio's 300th birthday after a world-wide tour with legendary rocker Sting. 

The band consists of Diego and Emilio Navaira, sons of late Tejano singer Emilio Navaira, local producer Jerry Fuentes, and New York guitarist Derek James, the only non-Texan in the band.

Fuentes, who plays guitar and sings, first met James while songwriting in New York. At the time, Fuentes split time between New York and San Antonio, working locally at Studio M, which is where he first met and produced music for the late Navaira. 

"It wasn't until I already lived in New York when one of the producers said, Hey, you need to meet Emilio and Diego, they remind me of you,'" Fuentes recalled. "And they were like, 'It's Emilio's kids.' And I was like, 'Emilio has kids?'"

Fuentes called it "symbiotic" after that. 

The four started out as songwriting partners, but after three months of writing, they realized they had an album on their hands. 

Facing the music, they realized it was more than a writing project. This was a band. 

"And then we went to the store and bought a bunch of instruments," bass player and vocalist Diego said. 

Emilio described the band as a true testament to South Texas.

"It just sounds like Texas. There's a little bit of Texas blues, Texas country, some Tejano stuff, the stuff Diego and I grew up on," he said. "And then we all like rock-and=roll and the Beatles, so it's all together somehow."

Watch the full interview above to hear their stories from the road touring with Sting, what their favorite foods are to eat when they are at home, and what Diego and Emilio think their dad would say about their success.